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Money, Value, and a Response

“Four dollars a shot,” marched from the bartender’s mouth - each syllable carried the clanks of Herbie’s Rhodes – jutting like glacier crags in swells of desert-base. They carried the smoke curling like a silver chain draped around a neck, and the bulges of slurred blurbs. The words seeped from the regular collection of the blood-sweet odor of smoke – not the bartender. I understood the bar, but I didn’t know what he meant. The four dollars rustled out of my wallet and crinkled on the table like brittle leaves popping back into form. The sap-colored whiskey plunked on the bar, and hummed a sharp alcoholic song. Masked, the bartender noticed an obtuse heap of slurs that rumpled his skin into a smile. His shoulders flipped, and he was swept into the patterned shrub of sensation. He was now an indeterminable piece in a clouded order. I swilled the amber, and stumbled through links of smoke until I spilled out into the violent protrusions of the quiet evening – like sails glaring on a sun-crushed sea. I still can’t figure out what that four dollars was worth, or what the bartender said to me.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2007

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